Ross Isherwood (left), Murray Chunyk, Jed Hyde, Paul Hicke, Trevor Partlow and Luke Lampard went to Fort St. James on Wednesday with a water tender and a structural fire fightng engine to help combat wild fires. File contributed

Six Victoria firefighters head to B.C. Interior to combat wildfires

The Victoria Fire Department sent a water tender and fire truck to Fort St. James

The Victoria Fire Department sent six of its firefighters over to Fort St. James to help combat wildfires on Wednesday.

The crew consists of Ross Isherwood, Murray Chunyk, Jed Hyde, Paul Hicke, Trevor Partlow and Luke Lampard, who traveled with both a structural fire fighting engine and a 2,500-gallon water tender vehicle.

The firefighters left after a call was put out by the B.C. Fire Commissioner for aid as wildfires spread throughout the province.

“We’re catching up to the issue of what we experienced last year,” said Victoria Fire Chief Paul Bruce. “This year we’re a little more proactive in requesting and deploying resources.”

Still, Bruce said that this is only just the beginning.

“The worse is potentially yet to come,” he said, “We’ll see how this next week plays out.”

At the time of deployment, the fire at Fort St. James was around 50,000 hectares, with most of the town area on evacuation alert, with 1,600 residents urged to evacuate.

Nearby, Shovel Lake was experiencing a fire of about 35,000 hectares, and a third smaller fire at Francois Lake hadn’t yet been addressed, something that Bruce said is simply a matter or prioritizing.

“It’s all about resource management, and that’s something we need to look at and update almost hourly,” he said.

The firefighters and fire engines were the first resources Victoria sent to the Interior this season, and also the same amount they were able to put forward last year.

“When they’re seeking resources from the Island, it’s a real indicator of how dire the situation is,” Bruce said. “We don’t want to leave an area unprotected.”

At the time of deployment there was no determined time limit of how long the Victoria firefighters would be out, but it was estimated at least seven to 10 days.

“We’re hopeful that resources can get a good grip on the fire situation across the province,” Bruce said. “We’ve also got our fingers crossed hoping that we’ll get a little rain.”

Firefighters from across the region have also traveled to the Interior to help, including two firefighters from Sooke, along with a Sooke fire engine, one from the Langford Fire Rescue and one from the Metchosin Fire Department were sent up to Fort St. James. Four firefighters from View Royal will head out on Friday morning, along with a truck, and fire chiefs from both Metchosin and View Royal will also head out shortly.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
and Instagram

Victoria Fire Department

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Six members of the Victoria Fire Department have gone out to Fort St. James to combat wildfires. Here, the crew prepare their vehicles to leave. File contributed

Just Posted

Killing of Discovery Island wolf was legal, says BC Conservation Service

Takaya was shot and killed by hunters on March 24

Police enforce school zone speed limits as Greater Victoria students return to class

Saanich police on the lookout for speeders outside Glanford Middle School

Anti-racism rally takes to the streets of downtown Victoria

Vigil for George Floyd planned at B.C. Legislature for 7 p.m.

PHOTOS: Greater Victoria School District reports 50 per cent of students back in class

Students are on a rotational schedule alternating two days a week

Hearing ahead for blind community’s B.C. Human Rights Tribunal case against Victoria bus stops

The Canadian Federation of the Blind says bike lanes can be dangerous

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Island community

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Private school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Most Read